USEC. ROCKY IGNACIO: Good afternoon, MPC. Let’s now have Presidential Spokesperson and Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo.
SEC. PANELO: Good noon, MPC members. How about Pia, wala din? Ang daming absent ah… O Julie, mukhang may tanong ka. Wala pa…
ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD: Sir, is the President aware of the incident in China—in the West Philippine Sea?
SEC. PANELO: Oh, definitely.
ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD: What did he say?
SEC. PANELO: Say? He is outraged by that. We issued a statement, right?
ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD: Yes, sir. And—
SEC. PANELO: That’s it. The Secretary of DFA has already filed a diplomatic protest this morning… this morning ba o kahapon?
ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD: You said sir, the behavior of those Chinese fishermen was uncivilized—
SEC. PANELO: And outrageous and barbaric.
ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD: Does the Palace statement that’s a form of bullying on the part of the Chinese…
SEC. PANELO: Whether it’s a form of bullying or not, it’s outrageous, it’s barbaric, it’s uncivilized and we’re condemning it.
ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD: Yeah. When our countrymen are bullied, is a diplomatic protest enough?
SEC. PANELO: What do you want? You want to declare war?
ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD: What other options do we have?
SEC. PANELO: Well, that’s the first thing you should do – diplomatic protest—
ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD: But, what are other options do we have—
SEC. PANELO: We call the Chinese government to probe the incident and to impose punitive action against those at fault.
ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD: So for now, we don’t have any other options apart from filing a diplomatic protest?
SEC. PANELO: Malakas na nga iyong ginawa natin, binanatan na kaagad natin immediately. ‘Antayin natin kung anong resulta.
ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD: Alright, thank you.
NESTOR CORRALES/INQUIRER.NET: Sir because in past incidents, the Philippine government has been filing diplomatic protests against China, but they seem to ignore our protests. Are we not—
SEC. PANELO: They seem? Hindi natin alam iyon. Tanungin natin si Secretary Locsin kung totoo iyong sinasabi mo.
NESTOR CORRALES/INQUIRER.NET: Okay. Given that condition sir, pero kasi palagi na tayong nagpa-file ng diplomatic protest pero paulit-ulit na may ganitong mga nangyayari. Are we not—hindi ba natin ‘to iaakyat sa UN, iyong case?
SEC. PANELO: Tingnan natin, let’s wait for Secretary Locsin.
ARIANNE MEREZ/ABS-CBN NEWS.COM: Sir, Senator Hontiveros called on President Duterte this morning to recall our ambassadors and consuls in China following the collision. Ano po ang reaction ng Palace?
SEC. PANELO: Wala.
ARIANNE MEREZ/ABS-CBN NEWS.COM: We are not considering it, sir?
SEC. PANELO: Lahat ng options kino-consider ‘yan. We don’t need the advice of the good senator on that.
ARIANNE MEREZ/ABS-CBN NEWS.COM: Pero sir right now po, it’s not on the table sir?
SEC. PANELO: Bahala na si Secretary Locsin.
ARIANNE MEREZ/ABS-CBN NEWS.COM: Okay sir, thank you.
ACE ROMERO/PHILIPPINE STAR: Sec., these incidents are happening even if we have a BCM. Ano sinasabi nito about the effectivity noong BCM between China and the Philippines?
SEC. PANELO: Anong sinasabi? Anong… ano ang tingin mo?
ACE ROMERO/PHILIPPINE STAR: What does this say about—iyong Bilateral Consultation Mechanism, nangyayari pa rin ‘to and we have repeatedly, you know, promised to maintain a peaceful environment, pero nangyayari iyong ganito.
SEC. PANELO: Eh it happens eh. Anong magagawa natin kung it happens. If they are still talking and some incidents, hindi naman natin alam kung sinadya or may sanction ang Chinese government. Hindi pa nga natin alam kung—sino ba may-ari noon? Is that a private vessel? Ship or what? Kaya nga namin pinapaimbestigahan sa kanila. We are calling their attention: Do something about it. We want to know.
ACE ROMERO/PHILIPPINE STAR: Sige, Sec.
GREG/TV5: Hi, Sec. May epekto po ba sa friendship between Philippines and China itong insidenteng ito? Because Senator Lacson said, “We do not treat our friends like that and we don’t expect to be treated that way either.”
SEC. PANELO: Siyempre it will always affect the relationship if certain incidents of that nature comes up.
GREG/TV5: And, the diplomatic protest is enough?
SEC. PANELO: Mayroon na nga hindi ba?
JULIE BAEZA/DZME: Hi sir, Julie from DZME po. Senator Lacson said din po na kailangan magkaroon ng leader-to-leader talk. Kino-consider po ba ng Palace ngayon iyon – between Chinese government and Philippines?
SEC. PANELO: That’s the call of the President. Let’s wait for him.
TINA MENDEZ/PHILIPPINE STAR: Sir, if I recall it right, nabanggit naman ni President kay Chinese President Xi Jinping iyong issues, iyong presence ng some Chinese vessels sa area ng West Philippine Sea, pero nangyari pa rin ‘tong incident dito. Do you consider this an act of aggression against Philippines?
SEC. PANELO: Hindi pa nga natin alam iyong… exactly kung ano iyong ship na iyon. We want to find out first if it was really—if it was intentional, ay ibang usapan na iyon. Ibang usapan na iyon ‘pag intentional.
TINA MENDEZ/PHILIPPINE STAR: So, we will rely on the investigation of the Chinese authorities? Wala po tayong sariling—
SEC. PANELO: Iniimbestigahan din natin ‘di ba? Iniimbestigahan din natin eh, kung sino bang may-ari noon.
TINA MENDEZ/PHILIPPINE STAR: So such acts, whether it’s Chinese or any other foreign country or foreign vessel, it’s not considered an act of aggression against Filipino nationals?
SEC. PANELO: Oh definitely. If it is intentional, it’s an act of aggression.
TINA MENDEZ/PHILIPPINE STAR: And what should be done? Next step po?
SEC. PANELO: O, eh ano pang step? Eh ‘di we will cut off diplomatic relations, ‘yan ang unang ginagawa ng mga… ‘pag mayroong mga aggressive acts. First, magdi-diplomatic protest ka; kung hindi ka kuntento sa paliwanag nila at nakita natin na talagang sinadya, eh ibang usapan iyon. Our responses will always be calibrated, depende sa degree. But definitely, we will not allow ourselves to be assaulted, to be bullied, to be the subject of such barbaric, uncivilized and outrageous actions from any source.
TINA MENDEZ/PHILIPPINE STAR: Thank you, sir.
CHONA YU/RADIO INQUIRER: Sir after the incident kahapon sa Recto Bank, may bago bang commentations ang China sa Pilipinas to reach out, to explain kung—?
SEC. PANELO: Wala pa. May diplomatic protest pa lang. We’re waiting for a response.
CEDRIC CASTILLO/GMA7: Sir, good afternoon po. Let me just sir get your reaction sir specifically on the statement of former Secretary Del Rosario, former SFA. Sir, and I quote: “We need to find a way to hold China’s leadership accountable and that we must also now consider a multilateral approach,” sir.
SEC. PANELO: He doesn’t have to tell us what to do. We know what to do. Dapat ginawa nila ‘yan noon, noong sila’y nandiyan pa.
VIRGIL LOPEZ/GMA NEWS ONLINE: Sir, in relation lang doon sa question ni Chona. Is there a need for the government to summon the Chinese Ambassador for him to personally explain iyong side nila regarding the incident?
SEC. PANELO: I think we don’t have to summon him. If he’s listening now, he should explain.
XIANNE ARCANGEL/CNN PHILIPPINES: Good afternoon Sec., Xianne Arcangel from CNN Philippines. Sir, on another matter. Is there a scheduled meeting between President Duterte and Pastor Joel Apolinario in GenSan? There were reports to that effect today.
SEC. PANELO: I have not received any info on that.
JULIE AURELIO/PDI: Sir, you mentioned earlier that the Philippines is taking calibrated steps depending on the response of China.
SEC. PANELO: Yes.
JULIE AURELIO/PDI: First, the diplomatic protest. If the diplomatic protest doesn’t go well, are we, as you said, are we prepared to go the way of Canada and possibly cut or diminish diplomatic ties?
SEC. PANELO: Well, given the steps undertaken by the President on the Canada trash issue, that’s more likely.
JULIE AURELIO/PDI: Meaning, sir the second step will be lessening diplomatic ties at this point?
SEC. PANELO: As I said, given his action prior, baka iyon din, baka mas severe pa. Hindi natin alam, we’ll leave it to the President.
JULIE AURELIO/PDI: sir, on another related note, the President has been personally informed of the Chinese incident, correct?
SEC. PANELO: Yeah, alam niya na iyon.
JULIE AURELIO/PDI: Would you know his exact reaction?
SEC. PANELO: Wala, hindi pa kami nagkakausap tungkol doon.
HANNAH SANCHO/SONSHINE RADIO: Sir, may reaction po ba si Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte about doon sa Pinay na ni-rape ng isang Kuwaiti police—airport officer po?
SEC. PANELO: I have not talked to him with that. But we are certainly outraged by that and Secretary Bello is responding to that incident.
HANNAH SANCHO/SONSHINE RADIO: Regarding po sir doon sa speakership po, sir. Kasi nahihirapan po iyong PDP-Laban na pumili po ng kandidato nila, dahil nga wala po silang nakuhang consensus noong nag-meeting po sila. And they need the decision of President Duterte kung sino po ang pipiliin niya doon sa mga kandidato ng PDP-Laban?
SEC. PANELO: The President will not interfere.
HANNA SANCHO/SONSHINE RADIO: So, hindi na po magbabago iyong desisyon ng Pangulo, he will not endorse anyone from PDP-Laban?
SEC. PANELO: He never endorsed, di ba. What they should do, I think, the PDP should—what they should do is to have a secret balloting and get the sentiments of the members. And who gets the highest, di iyon ang ano ang magiging manok nila.
ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD: Sir, the President also said that.
SEC. PANELO: I just saw your Facebook account ba iyong account mo sa ano, ang ganda ng sombrero mo ah, hindi kita nakilala – Profile picture mo, iba!
ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD: Anyway, sir. Sir, the President said last night that he wants.
SEC. PANELO: Iba ang dating Arjay, nagulat ako ah. I cannot believe it. My goodness!
ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD: Anyway, sir the President said last night that the party-lists are being exploited by the rich and their representatives are not actually marginalized. So, what does he want, does he want these party-lists abolished?
SEC. PANELO: Baka papunta roon kung ganyan ang sentimyento niya or baka gusto niya na iyong nagre-represent coming from that sector.
ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD: So, in what way can he do that?
SEC. PANELO: Actually nasa Comelec. Sila ang nagka-qualify ng mga nominees eh.
ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD: So, the President wants Comelec to review?
SEC. PANELO: No, he is expressing an idea and that’s for the Comelec to respond to it.
CHONA YU/RADYO INQUIRER: Sir, then why did the President endorse some party-list groups during the last election, he endorsed some party-list.
SEC. PANELO: Like who?
CHONA YU/RADYO INQUIRER: 1-Pacman ba iyon. I can’t remember sir, pero may mga endorsement siya, TV advertisements.
SEC. PANELO: Bakit iyon bang ine-endorse hindi representing the sector?
CHONA YU/RADYO INQUIRER: 1-Pacman, si Romero is a millionaire, richest Congressman.
SEC. PANELO: Baka namang may record iyong nominee na talagang fighting for principle.
XIANNE ARCANGEL/CNN PHILS.: Sir, again regarding the Speakership race. Senator Manny Pacquiao said na nagpakuha siya ng schedule para makausap si President about the PDP-Laban candidate for Speaker, sir. Would you know kung may ganoong naka-schedule na meeting?
SEC. PANELO: Hindi ko alam, sa Social Secretary iyon eh.
XIANNE ARCANGEL/CNN PHILS.: And then, kasi sir sabi ni Senator Pacquiao is ia-announce daw po iyong PDP-Laban candidate for Speaker by Friday, so, kung may meeting po ngayon, sir?
SEC. PANELO: Hindi ko alam sa social, supposed to be office nga ng Social Secretary dapat iyon or appointment’s office rather. Kay miss Lizette Marquez.
REYMUND TINAZA/BOMBO RADYO: Sir, going back to the collision issue. Sir after the collision, Bayan Muna Representative Carlos Isagani Zarate calls for a joint military patrols over West Philippines Sea between Philippines, Malaysia, Vietnam and other claimants of some disputed territories para daw maiwasan iyong maulit iyong nangyaring collision. Do you subscribe or are you open to that proposal?
SEC. PANELO: The defense department will be the one to decide which the best moves for that.
REYMUND TINAZA/BOMBO RADYO: But again, after the collision and more aggressive actions of China over West or South China Sea. Aren’t we considering the invitation of more US presence in the South China Sea?
SEC. PANELO: That’s speculative.
REYMUND TINAZA/BOMBO RADYO: Why?
SEC. PANELO: Eh ano ba ang tawag mo doon? You are speculating, because sabi mo that might call attention – hindi natin alam iyon.
REYMUND TINAZA/BOMBO RADYO: So, we do not wish for a more presence of US forces in the area?
SEC. PANELO: ‘Di ba meron na ngang statement doon, kung makakatulong iyon sa katahimikan ng lugar na iyon, okay lang sa atin iyon – whatever, basta as far as we are concerned, we will not allow our sovereignty to be thrashed upon.
REYMUND TINAZA/BOMBO RADYO: By China?
SEC. PANELO: By anybody, by any foreign country including the US.
ROSALIE COZ/UNTV: Sir, regarding sa nangyayaring mass protest po sa Hong Kong. May mga Pilipino po na maaring maapektuhan kapag lumala iyong sitwasyon doon. So ano po iyong preparasyon na ginagawa ng pamahalaan?
SEC. PANELO: Si Secretary Bello ang nakakaalam kung anong preparasyon ang gagawin niya, teritoryo niya iyan eh. I remember meron na ring ganyang pangyayari noon di ba, mas matindi pa nga yata noon, hindi naman naapektuhan iyong mga Overseas Workers natin.
ROSALIE COZ/UNTV: So for now, there’s nothing to worry about for the Palace?
SEC. PANELO: Mukhang wala naman.
ROSALIE COZ/UNTV: How about if lumala po iyong sitwasyon, sir?
SEC. PANELO: Eh di kung ano iyong response ng gobyerno noon, iyon din ang magiging response natin on—
ROSALIE COZ/UNTV: And that is?
SEC. PANELO: Oh di aalagaan natin iyong ating mga overseas workers. Kung anuman iyon, ang nakakaalam noon Department of Labor.
ROSALIE COZ/UNTV: Do you have any advice po para sa mga kababayan nating Pinoy na nasa Hong Kong?
SEC. PANELO: Na ano? Anong gusto mong advice ibigay natin? What advice can you give them, except to just wait for—
ROSALIE COZ/UNTV: To show concern for our mga …
SEC. PANELO: Ay hindi. Alam mo, ang mga overseas workers, alam nila na ang gobyernong ito, lalo na si President Duterte, ay mapag-alaga sa kanila. Walang kaduda-duda iyon. They don’t even have to ask help; alam na nila iyon eh. Kaya nga kita mo, overwhelming ang botong tinanggap niya.
ROSALIE COZ/UNTV: Sir, sundutin ko lang po sa China, iyon pong sa collision. Kasi in April, regarding the issue po ng mga namataang Chinese vessels near the Pag-asa Island, the President said he is willing to compromise pero ibang usapan na raw po kapag mayroong nasaktang Pilipinong mangingisda o mga sundalo. So this time, is the President still willing to compromise? And ano po iyong—
SEC. PANELO: Anong ibig sabihin ng compromise?
ROSALIE COZ/UNTV: Makipag-ayos, sir.
SEC. PANELO: Makipag-ayos ‘pag?
ROSALIE COZ/UNTV: With China, regarding doon sa mga hundreds of Chinese vessels na malapit sa teritoryo po natin. Pero this time, may nasaktan at nanganib na buhay ng mga Pilipinong mangingisda. So hanggang saan—
SEC. PANELO: Anong ibig sabihin—
ROSALIE COZ/UNTV: Hanggang saan po puwedeng—
SEC. PANELO: Anong ibig sabihin makipag-compromise? Hindi ko maintindihan iyong makipag-compromise iha. Kasi alam ko iyong mga vessels doon, hindi ba nawala na? Ang paliwanag kasi ni Ambassador Zhao noon, noong nandoon pa kami sa China, it was a fishing season. And sabi niya—nangyari nga iyong sinabi niya kasi sabi niya by next month ay mawawala na iyan kasi mag-aalisan na iyan.
Q: [OFF MIC]
SEC. PANELO: Ha? Iba naman iyon, iba naman yata iyong sinasabi … ibang lugar naman iyon eh. Iyong clam naman iyong sinasabi mo.
ROSALIE COZ/UNTV: Sir, balikan ko lang iyong statement ni President para rin po ma-refresh kayo, “We go into a compromise for the time being kasi hindi nga—
SEC. PANELO: Ano? Ano? Ulitin mo nga.
ROSALIE COZ/UNTV: “We go into a compromise for the time being kasi hindi nga, if we go to war or there is a violent conflict, we would never win. And I would suffer beyond imagination.” And then sinabi niya na, “Kapag ang nagalaw ninyo mga Pilipinong mangingisda or soldiers, ibang istorya na iyan.”
SEC. PANELO: Oh iyon pala eh, that answers your questions. Sinabi na nga niya eh. Makipag-compromise siya kung hindi masyadong grabe; pero kung nasaktan ang mga Pilipino, ibang usapan na. Iyon ang sagot sa … sinagot ka na nga ni Presidente.
ROSALIE COZ/UNTV: So ano nga po, sir?
SEC. PANELO: Ano pang sagot? It’s in the statement you just read.
ROSALIE COZ/UNTV: Meaning to say, sir, the President is now willing to go to war dahil may nasaktan na nga pong Pinoy at mangingisda?
SEC. PANELO: Sinabi niya iyon ‘di ba? That’s what he said – ibang usapan na iyon. Now whether if he means na makikipaggiyera siya is another thing.
Q: So we’re going to war?
SEC. PANELO: Hindi naman niya sinabing pupunta sa giyera. Sinabi niya, “Ibang usapan na iyan.”
Q: So ano nga, sir?
SEC. PANELO: Itatanong natin kung anong gusto niyang sabihin. Kasi baka kapag sinabi ko, hindi naman pala iyon ang ibig niyang sabihin. Kailangan titingnan natin exactly iyong mga sinasabi ni Presidente. We cannot be jumping into conclusions.
USEC. IGNACIO: Okay. MPC, may tanong pa kayo?
SEC. PANELO: Sabagay, kayo naman, ang hinahanap ninyo naman ay headline.
CEDRIC CASTILLO/GMA7: Sir, doon pa rin sa collision. Would you consider this an isolated situation or incident, sir, or an outright bullying sanctioned by the state of China, sir?
SEC. PANELO: Hindi natin nga—we’re waiting for their official response. Kung ano ang response nila, may action tayo doon.
REYMUND TINAZA/BOMBO RADYO: Sir, doon sa some members of KAPA are appealing to the President to halt or stop the shutting down of their investment scheme. So will the President ever lend an ear to their—
SEC. PANELO: As far as the President is concerned kasi, there’s a continuing crime of swindling or estafa. Iyong mga nakikiusap, from what I gather, from what I heard from them—kasi nakakatanggap sila eh. Eh hindi ba ganiyan naman ang ano … iyon ang nature ng pyramiding – ang makakatanggap ay iyong mga nauuna, para nga maengganyo ka. Pero after that, biglang sasabog na.
REYMUND TINAZA/BOMBO RADYO: So no? Sorry?
SEC. PANELO: Na kay Presidente iyan. Pero basta iyan ang line ni President. Kasi you have to look at his position. Ang posisyon niya, as far as he is concerned, there is a continuing crime. Kaya nga pinasarado niya eh.
REYMUND TINAZA/BOMBO RADYO: The NBI even admitted that this is the biggest Ponzi scheme…
SEC. PANELO: The what? The NBI has?
REYMUND TINAZA/BOMBO RADYO: Described as he biggest Ponzi—
SEC. PANELO: Scam.
REYMUND TINAZA/BOMBO RADYO: Scam, in the history.
SEC. PANELO: Bilyon nga naman.
REYMUND TINAZA/BOMBO RADYO: Yes, parang hundreds of millions daw ang pay out a day. So will the shutting down be relentless?
SEC. PANELO: What do you mean will be relentless? Kung shut down, di wala na.
REYMUND TINAZA/BOMBO RADYO: Yes, because there are still offices and Pastor Joel Apolinario is still at large.
SEC. PANELO: Kailangan kasi mayroong court. Kung gusto nilang operational sila, siguro they will have to file case in court.
ROSALIE COZ/UNTV: Sir, sundot lang po sa KAPA. Many members of the KAPA International Ministry expressed outrage due to the President’s order to close. Is the President worried about losing the support of these KAPA members?
SEC. PANELO: But sinabi mo ngang millions? You’re concluding na lahat sila. Ang naririnig lang natin sa TV, iyong mga nagsasalita, pailan-ilan eh. Wala naman iyong entire … ‘di ba? There are millions ‘di ba, ang miyembro diyan sabi nila. Eh kung makita mo iyong milyon nasa kalsada, iyon ang we can say na they are outraged and they are all against it. Pero kung one, two, three, four lang, hindi naman natin alam iyon.
ROSALIE COZ/UNTV: Pero, sir, they even questioned the timing daw po. Bakit after the elections daw po since early this year pa ay nagbigay na po ng cease and desist order ang SEC against KAPA, pero the President parang personal niyang ipinag-utos iyong closure just after the election?
SEC. PANELO: Eh kasi marami nang nagrereklamo sa kaniya. At saka may cease and desist order, ibig sabihin iyong government agency natin ay talagang nakita nila na scam nga. Can you imagine nga naman 30% ang binibigay mo tapos iyong mga bangko natin pinakamataas na iyong nine percent, seven pa nga.
USEC. IGNACIO: Okay. Thank you, Secretary Panelo. Thank you, MPC.
Source: PCOO-NIB (News and Information Bureau-Data Processing Center)